3 Most Common Ways Hackers Get You

Common Ways Hackers Get YouNow that computers and the Internet have become indispensable parts of people’s lives in most parts of the world, the issue of cyber security has become important. It is crucial that you learn the most common ways hackers get you, so that you can avoid being targeted, or at least know what to do if you ever get hacked.


Phishing is one of the most common – and dangerous methods hackers employ to get your personal details, as it preys on people who are not paying too much attention to what they are doing or have below average experience with computers, which means security software tools are usually not effective in preventing them (because there’s no software-based exploit or vulnerability being used.)

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How it works

The way it works is that the hacker will send you a fake email, usually under the guise of someone you know or under the name of a trusted company such as a payment processor or a social networking site. The email contains a link to a fake site masquerading as an official one, with a login module that lets the tricked users try to log in with their username and password (and sometimes even credit card details). Once the user does the deed, all of the private information he gave away will be sent to the hacker, who is now free to do with it as he pleases.

How to Avoid it

The best protection against phishing attempts is self-awareness. Always make sure that the emails you are receiving came from the people they purport to be. It’s usually easy to find out, by checking the actual email address instead of the name, and by assessing the contents (now, why would your mother in law ask for your username and password?). You should also make a practice of NEVER clicking any link from any email without paying much attention to the URL. As much as possible, visit the site in question directly by typing the real URL on your browser’s address bar, to ensure that the site you are seeing is legit.

Malicious Code

As the name implies, trojan horses are malicious pieces of code that masquerade as something useful, in the hopes of tricking you into downloading and running them.

How it works

Once they are inside your computer and run, they start working in the background. There are also worms that simply get inside your system, replicate as much as it can while sending copies of itself to other people. There are also viruses that are made solely to take over your computer and use it to infect other people through various means.

How to Avoid it

The best defense against malicious code is with a decent anti virus and anti malware tool (you can either pick the best of either or get one of the suites that do everything.) You should also keep every software you have updated – from the antivirus to the OS – as new patches may help fix exploits and vulnerabilities as they are discovered.

You should also make it a point to avoid downloading any suspicious files and to avoid installing every single nifty toolbar you find, as a lot of these things have malicious code piggybacking on their installers. Additionally, you should stay away from piracy sites.

Social Engineering

Out of all the examples here, social engineering is the most dangerous because there’s no software in the world that can protect you from it, simply because it relies on the human factor and people’s tendency to downplay the importance of keeping information safe.

How it works

This works usually with the hacker himself getting information from you through legitimate means, such as befriending you or a close friend in order to find out personal details and then use it to gain access to your accounts. For instance, asking you the name of your favorite artist and then using the answer for your email account’s “secret question.” Sometimes it’s actually even easier than that: a hacker tries to reset your email account and finds out that the secret question is “what is the name of your hometown?” information that is readily available through your facebook profile.

How to Avoid it

The only defense against social engineering is to be self-aware and to safeguard sensitive information. There’s nothing wrong with being paranoid when it comes to critical data that could lead to your whole identity being stolen.


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